TB conference underway

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Durban - TB advocacy and community mobilisation will be among the topics to be covered by experts during the 2nd TB Conference currently taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.

Themed: 'Forging strategic partnership to fight TB and HIV', the four-day conference, which started on Tuesday is being attended by at least 1 800 delegates from various countries.

The scientific conference will be presented in three tracks including Basic Science, Clinical, Epidemiological and Operational Research as well as Patient and Civil Society Mobilisation and Advocacy.

Among the speakers at the conference include South African National AIDS Council CEO Dr Nono Simelela who is set to deliver a presentation on stepping up South Africa's response to HIV and AIDS.

One of the first South African women to publicly disclose her HIV positive status, Musa Njoko, is also expected to do a presentation under the topic 'community voice'.

Director of the Centre for Tuberculosis Research at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore will give a current status and future prospects, based on research focused on the TB and HIV infection including global epidemiology, prevention, treatment and public health interventions.

Conference Chairperson Professor Harry Hausier noted that the magnitude of the dual TB and HIV is too great for any role player to address alone stressing the need for partnership between researchers, government, civil society and communities to develop effective strategies to fight the diseases to ensure access to services.

"The conference provides a forum for the scientific community to share information about new technologies and for implementing partners to share experiences and ideas on how to deliver existing and new tools more effectively," Professor Hausier said.

Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to deliver the closing address at the end of the conference on Friday.